Q&A Marci Belle #Author of Delicious @belle_marci #Interview

Marci Belle is a wonderful debut author who has written a contemporary romance that will make you hungry for more than just love. Set in the restaurant world, Delicious is a fantastic novel about enemies who find love…gotta love these ones. I was lucky enough to read Delicious as a beta reader and wanted to introduce you all to this wonderful book before its release so that you can put it in the diary. Marci has joined us for a Q&A to tell us more about her and the book…

 

Marci, Welcome to BrizzleLass Books and thank you for sharing a bit about yourself and your book today.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to write Delicious…

Hello and thank you for having me, Claire. I always enjoy connecting with you and the new groups you have put together. The Fledgling Authors Facebook group has already been a massive help to me.

This is my first book I’m publishing, but I wrote one before this that is also quite a culturally distinct story. I find couples with different backgrounds intriguing.

I’m actually first generation American, with Nicaraguan parents. That means that, although I was born in San Francisco and raised in Los Angeles, I was immersed in both worlds. I had plenty of Mexican friends and friends from most cultures. California is a beautiful and diverse melting pot of humans.

We were all Americans, but when we went home after school or work, our relatives cooked the food they grew up eating along with the American dishes they also were embracing. Food was a big part of our cultural identity.

When I moved to England, that changed. All the food and cultures I grew up with were no longer a part of my life. I enthusiastically explored the native food here, but often craved the Mexican food from home. The magic was missing. I longed for Mexican food more than I did Nicaraguan or American food.

Food is a very emotional thing for me. It brings back memories of my childhood. I remember hovering around the Mexican neighbor’s kitchen because she made amazing bean burritos. I guess you could say that this is the basis for the setting of the story and the connection between the characters. Everyone can find something in common.

Tell us a bit about the book, the synopsis.

Well they say that sometimes our lives are mapped out for us. I took that nugget of wisdom and played around with it in this story.

It’s an enemies to lovers story based on two characters who come from different worlds, but are connected by a similar passion. The female protagonist is a respected Mexican-American food critic who works for one of the world’s most popular food blogs.

She hides behind a pen name to protect her identity. As you can imagine, ruining a person’s hard work and dreams with a damming food review doesn’t always shed that person in a favorable light. It can be a dangerous job.

Our male protagonist, is a sexy restaurateur from London with a few ghosts in his past. His father is a celebrity chef, and sadly one he’s never been able to please. He recently opened a chic Mexican restaurant in Mayfair that lost a huge percentage of trade after a negative food review was published by the American food critic he now claims as his mortal enemy.

The book opens on a flight to London. When you’re in mid-air there’s nowhere to hide.

Without giving it away, there’s also some very sexy scenes in the book.

I was lucky enough to beta read Delicious so I have some inside knowledge of the book.
What, if anything, inspired the characters who are all so unique and full of life?

This is true. haha. The supporting characters are an amazing bunch that keep the story interesting and are a reflection of the openness of the protagonists. It’s a modern love story.

I definitely molded them around my group of larger than life friends who were there with me in spirit throughout the book.  I think readers will love them and find them entertaining.

I also ran a local culture blog that actually had a section called the Rock n’ Roll Food review. The character that inspired Nina wrote most of the articles. She’s obviously a musician. The book is filled with little treasures like that.

The main character is an American food blogger from California and you’re originally from California is there any of you in her character?

There are elements of me in her. Not physically, but the clumsiness and her temperament are borrowed from me. This is a creative, passionate and intelligent woman that embodies more than just superficial beauty. She has plenty of ingrained flaws. They can be endearing.

She has moments of both strength and weakness. That’s the part of her all women as a collective can relate to…when we’re honest with ourselves.

I would say the biggest part of myself that I contributed to the story was the way she related to food. There’s a huge nostalgia around it that comes from her childhood and family roots. I can definitely say she has a passion and respect for the culture which would translate into her reviews.

Our male character is a rich charismatic Englishman who owns restaurants and has a flea in his ear about something our main character wrote about him. His playboy stubbornness is both refreshing and amusing, is this based on anyone you know?

Yes! But I won’t say his name. There is a French celebrity chef in England who once was a bad boy himself, but his son has left him in the dust. He is a complete playboy hottie. You may know who I mean. You’ll then understand the relationship between father and son. The difference is that I added about ten years to his age. That’s ten years to grow out of his rogue ways. There’s something attractive about a man finding his true self after the storm has passed. There is a lot of character there.

Everywhere you look in this book there is food, be honest now how much did you eat writing it?

I almost choked on the cacao nibs I’m munching on from laughing so hard. I’m definitely an eater. Weirdly, I think I was making a lot of vegetarian food when I wrote this. My youngest daughter is a vegetarian so I was trying to accommodate her. I think I was dreaming about the dishes in this book extra hard because I didn’t have access to them.

You won’t find authentic Mexican ingredients readily available in UK supermarkets unless you’re in a place like London. I have to order everything online. I’ve learned to make my own tortillas.

It’s quite possible this book was also driven by the lack of a good fish taco in my life.

What was your writing process? And what would you change for future?

I spent a lot of time indoors writing this book. It probably took me longer than the average person to write because there were a series of tragic circumstances that happened along the way. It was most definitely a challenge.

I’m not sure my writing routine was predictable or is the one I will implement for the rest of my books. I did find that writing a chapter a day minimum after coffee and a bit of yoga stretches is very productive. A bit of oxygen to the body and blood to the brain and you’re ready to go. I’m no yogi but I certainly enjoy it when I do get off my bottom.

Also, I’d love to share that Jade West mentored me through the first two novellas I’ve written so far. She also shared a wealth of valuable writing information with me that I will hang on to forever. There is still so much to learn but that will come in time.

What comes next for Marci Belle?

I love writing these books and I don’t ever want to stop writing them. I plan to release the first book I wrote shortly after this one and I’m dying to write some new ones. I have five in the works in my head. But one at a time is how it works.

Each book will be different than the other. I don’t feel the need to suppress the art of writing by following a trend. I think if you love the idea you want to pen and are passionate about it, it will be the most rewarding thing you do for yourself and your readers. But then, I’ve always been a rebel.

 

Thank you Claire for the opportunity to share my book with the world.

About Marci Belle

California native living in the beautiful Welsh borders in England. You have to see it to believe it.This is my eleventh year in the UK, but I’m an LA Woman through and through.
I love Sexy Romantic Comedies, Contemporary Romance, Chick-lit, and when I’m feeling devious, Dark Romance.

My characters will tend towards strong, inspiring females, and the delicious Alphas who love them, or hate them. Mix that up with humor, and you have a heady cocktail of sexy romantic comedy, and steamy emotional ride.

I’ve spent the past few years as a local culture writer, many years in the fashion and beauty industry, but my very best years are being spent as a mother of two very beautiful girls. Especially, with my first daughter when I was a single mom working a million temps jobs to pay the bills. I survived and looking back, I’m quite proud of my little family.

Marci Belle Links

Facebook Page

Facebook Group

Twitter

 

#Interview Elizabeth Corrigan – Oracle of Philadelphia @ERCorrigan @RAPublishing

Like most bloggers I get a whole host of review requests, with the state of my TBR *insert crying face here* I tend to politely turn them down. But occasionally I receive one that makes me stop and consider it more closely. The email I received from Elizabeth Corrigan was one of those. The blurb for Oracle of Philadelphia was right up my street, and while I don’t have time to read it right now, it went straight onto my Kindle wish list so that I can buy it when I have more time and I asked if Elizabeth would like a guest spot on the blog. We agreed on an interview and I’m pleased to share the interview with you today.

Description

Carrie works at a diner in South Philadelphia, dispensing advice to humans and angels wise enough to seek her counsel. But there are some problems that even the best advice can’t solve.

Her latest supplicant, Sebastian, is unique among those who have sought her aid. He sold his soul to a demon in exchange for his sister’s life, but his heart remains pure.

Carrie has lived for millennia with the knowledge that her immortality is due to the suffering of others, and she cannot bear to see another good man damned when it is within her power to prevent it.

In order to renegotiate his contract, Carrie must travel into the depths of hell and parley with the demons that control its pathways. As the cost of her journey rises, Carrie must determine how much she is willing to sacrifice to save one good soul.

Interview

Hi Elizabeth, Thanks for joining me on my blog today, I’m so pleased to have you and hope you enjoy answering these questions.

Tell us a bit about Oracle of Philadelphia

Oracle of Philadelphia is about an immortal girl named Carrie who can read minds. She owns a crappy diner in Philadelphia and has angel and demon friends. One day, she meets a man who has sold his soul to a demon, but she knows that he is a good person, so she decides to travel into Hell to negotiate with the archdemons for his soul.

Who is Carrie? What makes her tick?

Carrie has lived for 8,000 years with the weight of knowing everyone’s thoughts—and knowing that her village sold their souls to a demon in order to give her immortal life. She tends to be rather sad, both because of this and because of the continual loss of the people she knows. She has two true friends, the demon Bedlam and the angel Gabriel, and she lives for her interactions with them.

Where did Carrie come from? What made you write her?

This one is a little embarrassing. I actually got the idea from the television show Supernatural. At the end of season 2, one of the characters sells his soul to a demon (#spoilers!), and while waiting for season 3 to start, I pondered what would happen next. I came up with the concept of an oracle who would want to save him. The story now bears little resemblance to Supernatural, but it takes place in a crappy diner because in Supernatural, I feel the all-powerful oracle would work in a crappy diner.

How did you come up with the concept for the series Earthbound Angels?

I answered this a bit above, but that only explains where I got the plot for the first book. I decided I wanted to write a series because I got interested in all the surrounding characters I was writing about. At first I thought I would write a book about Carrie, then one each about Bedlam and Gabriel. But the story stretched even beyond that and included even more characters.

The cover art for Oracle of Philadelphia is vivid and intriguing, tell us how it came about.

My publisher’s cover artist, Glendon Haddix of Streetlight Graphics, came up with the cover. He incorporated the symbol of the flaming sword, the oracle, and the city of Philadelphia in what I, at least, think is a beautiful cover. He’s also great to work with! I use him for all my self-published covers as well, and I recommend him to any author looking for a cover artist.

Which song(s) would be the soundtrack for Oracle of Philadelphia?

Oh, so many, and a lot of them are mentioned in the book. Carrie’s theme song is “Human” by Christina Perri, Gabriel’s is “Halo” by Beyonce, and Bedlam’s is “Flagpole Sitta” by Harvey Danger. Some other songs on the soundtrack would be “Hero” by Chad Kroger, “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics, and “Sympathy for the Devil” by the Rolling Stones.

Tell us five unusual facts about Elizabeth Corrigan.

a.) I’m pathologically afraid of bees.

b.) I do a lot of tabletop gaming, to include role-playing games and cooperative board games.

c.) I’m trying to give up Diet Coke, but I miss the caffeine.

d.) I drive a SmartCar (but I might trade it in for an SUV soon-ish).

e.) I have two cats named Mookie and Tiara.

What is your writing process? Are you a planner or a pantser?

I’m somewhere in between? I do a lot of planning in my head before I ever start writing, but I have to write down a basic outline to get my plot sketched out. And when I say basic, I mean really basic. I just write down the chapter title and less than a sentence about what happens in that chapter. For the last book I worked on, I actually had 5 pages of notes, and it was the most I had ever outlined. Which was funny because my friend Mary Fan, who is usually a planner, was writing a book at the same time, and she felt like she was pantsing because she only had 5 pages of notes.

What have been your most memorable reviews?

I try to let the reviews, good and bad, roll off me as much as possible, but there are a few that stand out. My favorite review quote from Oracle was from Random Musings of a Curious Mind: “… filled with laugh-out-loud moments and scenes that will break your heart.” I thought that was such a nice thing to say. Other reviews that stand out are ones where a reviewer whom you never met seems to really get your book. Just a few of those make the whole writing experience worthwhile.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

For my day job, I’m a government contractor who does quality assurance work on data about behavioral health issues. In my spare time, I play a lot of tabletop games, both role-playing games and cooperative board games.

Has writing taught you anything about yourself?

Writing has taught me so much about myself. I learned pretty quickly when I started editing that I am not at all a visual person, which means I don’t generally describe anything. My editor’s notes tend to include things like, “Describe anything” and “Scroll through the senses.” I’ve gotten a lot better at doing this on my own, but it’s still not instinctive to me. Over the long-haul, I’ve come to learn that I really am writing for myself more than anyone else. I used to dream of being famous and successful—and of course, I still hope for that—but I’ve learned that I’m happy just being a little indie writer, and writing to that goal is more satisfying to me in the long-run.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer the questions and hanging out with me for a while.

Book & Buy Links

TitleOracle of Philadelphia
SeriesEarthbound Angels #1
Author: Elizabeth Corrigan
Genre: Fantasy | Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
Publication Date: 20 March 2013
Review Format: N/A
Other Formats: eBook | Paperback
Pages: 222
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon USBook DepositoryWordery

#BlogTour: The Corner Office by Katerina Baker @KaterinaBaker @RABTBookTours #Interview

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for Katerina Baker’s new novel The Corner Office. All of us who have worked in an office especially in management will recognise the themes in this book.  Katerina was kind enough to take some time out to answer some questions for us and that interview can be found a little bit further down the page!

Description

Tara Johnson’s sacrifices are about to pay off: a senior executive at thirty-five at a Fortune 500 company, she’s one of the two finalists in line for a Managing Director position. Unfortunately, her rival of fifteen years, the charming, infuriating Richard Boyd, is just as qualified, and unlike her, he’s willing to cross pretty much every line to get what he wants.

Of all the things Tara stored in the attic to make it to the top, it’s her personal life she misses the most. That is, until she starts a steamy affair with sex god Aidan, her direct report. Interoffice relationships with a subordinate can mean the end of a career, and when Richard finds out, it’s the perfect opportunity to take his high-heeled nemesis out, especially since he’s still nursing a grudge against Tara for rejecting him years ago.

But Tara’s increasingly domineering lover has his own dark secrets, endangering more than just her career. As her liaison spirals out of control, salvation will come from the man she always thought she hated, and perhaps the only one to truly understand her.

The Corner Office - Tour Banner

Interview

Thanks for taking joining me on my blog today, I’m so pleased to have you and hope you enjoy answering these questions.

1. Tell us a bit about The Corner Office
Thanks so much for having me. I love your blog.

The Corner Office is a story of a thirty-something year old female executive and her journey to “achieve it all”: in career and personal life. It’s about the mistakes that she makes along the way, including her affair with her subordinate that almost destroys everything she worked for. He is very different from other men she is around: a tattooed biker who is intense and domineering in bed, he is set on pursuing her, and she is initially drawn to him.

But the novel is not just about work. The Corner Office is a fun, fast-paced story that centers around two characters who spent years hating each other and fighting. They are competitors in the office, but their feelings lie deeper than hate, and each of their interactions are explosive.

I wanted to layer in fun scenes and situations to offset topics that would be dry on their own. I threw Tara into awkward situations. For example, the guy she ends up having an affair with meets her on a bike, and she refuses to get on at first. She is wearing her work clothes: pencil skirt, tight shirt, high heels. There is a masturbation scene; here is a short excerpt:

A woman had other ways to satisfy her sexual cravings. Mine came in trendy silver, with an electronically operated, “modest-sized” device designed specifically for ”her” pleasure. It was there for me when I needed it, it didn’t require any work on my part to get it ready, and it didn’t ask to rank our latest adventure when we were done. “Tara, sweetie, how was it? I feel like this one was at least a solid eight.” My Adam & Eve had a bit more common sense than that.

2. What inspired Tara and her story?
My inspiration was the many women who struggle to manage multiple priorities in their lives: whether it’s balancing their work and family or their kids and personal interests that oftentimes take a backseat.

3. Who are the men in your story and are they based on anyone you know?
I’ve read somewhere that each author has maybe ten or twelve characters in them, and they alternate them for each of their novels. There is some truth to that, although I tried to build unique characters. When I create a character, I first design their flaws. This is what makes them human and drives their mistakes which will start the main events of a story.

The main character Richard is an accomplished executive, he is Tara’s competitor who spent years fighting with her. Where she is hard-working, he uses his street smarts and relationships to succeed. On some level, he is a typical male manager who has a large network of buddies at work. He is very sharp and comes up with out-of-the-box ideas. He is always thinking a few steps ahead. On a personal level, he admires Tara, although he doesn’t outright show it. He is attracted to her, but after she rejected him many years ago, he doesn’t make another step. Instead, he spends his free time going out with his friends. He is good-looking and women are always around him, yet he never stopped thinking about Tara.

He is your worst competitor at work: bright, snarky, and isn’t afraid to play dirty. There are some good scenes centered around that.

4. Which song is the soundtrack of this novel?
I listened to Kongos Come With Me Now while driving home, right before starting to write The Corner Office chapters. I also listened to Alicia Keys’ Girl On Fire and a few other power girl songs. In general, I like to listen to upbeat songs before writing. It always puts me in the right mood.

5. What is your writing process?
My writing process is to find quiet time and lock my door.

I work full time and I have two small kids, so I usually write at nights when the kids are in bed. Because of my limited time availability, I write whenever and wherever I have time. I write on my iPad on the bus to work, while waiting for my kids at their weekend classes, or in coffee shops while they are at birthday parties.

I think having less time actually gives me more inspiration and makes me more productive when I do finally sit down to write. On most days the words flow out of me, funneled by the full day of running around and taking care of other, less creative things.

6. Why Romance novels? What drew you to the genre?
Romance is such a diverse genre. I write Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense and YA, and they are totally different. Their main similarity is that in the center of each story are two people finding their way to be together. I love Romance because I can write drier topics and make them more fun by incorporating romance. Life is far from perfect, and writing romance is a way to change reality into something more beautiful.

7. Who are your inspirations in the genre?
My earlier inspirations were Linda Howard, Janet Evanovich (although not Romance genre, I’ve learned a lot from her writing, and her style is next to none). Some of the newer authors include Sarah Robinson, Katy Evans, Camilla Monk, Jodi Linton. I was fortunate enough to meet many authors online and I’ve learned a great deal from them. They and their successes inspire me every day.

8. If you were to try another genre what would it be?
I like suspense. The first novel I finished writing was Romantic Suspense, so I could see myself writing a fun Suspense novel where Romance is not the main arc of the story.

I also write YA. I love this genre because this is where you can take more risks as an author, you can deal with more complex issues.

9. What book have you most recently read?
I’ve recently read and highly recommend Camilla Monk’s Spotless series. I love Camilla’s dark humor and voice, and this series will make up stay up reading and laughing. What can be more fun than a serial killer with an OCD paired with a nerdy IT programmer who loves romance novels?

10. What book do you most wish you had read?
The next book I read will be The Futures by Anna Pitoniak. It’s a coming of age novel about two people in New York City. One of them is working on Wall Street and the other for a small non-profit. Their glamorous life and marriage is put under test when everything comes crashing down. This is Anna’s debut novel and the writing is superb.

Thanks so much for spending time on BrizzleLass Books and wishing you all the best with the novel.

Thank you for having me on your blog. I appreciate your time and it was fun answering your questions.

About Katerina Baker

Katerina Baker is a lucky gal who still attempts to have it all: full-time project management job that she enjoys, crazy family of four (with the ongoing threats of getting a pet to upset the family equilibrium) and writing.

Although on some days she is much more successful at managing her life than on the others, she still claims that she doesn’t want it any other way.

Katerina is represented by Sharon Belcastro from Belcastro Agency, and has a contract with Lachesis Publishing, who will be publishing her Romantic Suspense novel Under the Scrubs.

    

Giveaway

Up for grabs is a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

To enter, readers need to add The Corner Office to their Goodreads TBR list and comment on the Facebook Post.

Book & Buy Links

TitleThe Corner Office
Series: N/A
Author: Katerina Baker
Genre: Romance | Contemporary Romance
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 23 June 2017
Review Format: N/A
Other Formats: eBook | Paperback
Pages: 236
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Wordery

#BlogTour: We Have Lost The Coffee by Paul Mathews @QuiteFunnyGuy #Interview

Today I’m joining the delightful The Quiet Knitter to help kick off the blog tour for We Have Lost The Coffee by Paul Mathews courtesy of EDM Editorial & Publicity Services.  I have an interview with Paul about the road to publication, it’s a really interesting read so be sure to stick around to read it.

Description

London, 2045. Three months into the Coffee Wars and Britain’s caffeine supplies are at critical levels. Brits are drinking even more tea than usual, keeping a stiff upper lip and praying for an end to it all.

A secret government coffee stockpile promises to save the day … but then mysteriously disappears overnight.

One man is asked to unravel the missing-coffee mystery. Hs name is Pond. Howie Pond. And he’s in desperate need of a triple espresso. Meanwhile, his journalist wife, Britt, is hunting royal fugitive, Emma Windsor, on the streets of the capital.

Can Howie save the British Republic from caffeine-starved chaos? Will the runaway royal be found? And just what will desperate coffee drinkers do for their caffeine fix? Find out, in Paul Mathews’ latest comedy adventure set in the Britain of the future …

We Have Lost the Coffee - Tour Banner

Q&A

When did you first decide to get your ideas out of your head and onto paper?

Thanks to a demanding job, there was a gap of more than two years between sketching out the idea for my first novel, We Have Lost The President, in January 2013, and starting to write it. And, even then, what I drafted back in January 2013 didn’t bear much relation to the story as it eventually unfolded. You soon learn that nothing goes to plan in the world of novel writing!

It was only when I took an 18-month career break in April 2015 that work began in earnest. I started plotting the novel in May and writing it in the June. However, I got waylaid by a Twitter project and various other things. It meant I’d only written 36,000 words by the end of the year. It was then I realised I had to be more disciplined and I started writing 1,500 words a day, five days a week (I had only managed about 500 a day at the start, sometimes fewer). I eventually finished the first draft in April 2016.

How long did that first manuscript take to perfect?

It took over a year, as I didn’t publish until late July 2016 – and I was still making last-minute edits. Looking back, I probably should have delayed the launch a couple of weeks. That first novel is 100,000 words long and it took ages to proofread. In the end, I became word blind and my brain was no longer being helpful!

I learnt a lot writing that first novel. I transformed from someone having a break from work, who did a bit of writing now and then, to a professional writer who treats it as a job. That change of mindset really worked. I can churn out 10,000 words a week now and I wrote the first draft of my second novel in less than three months.

How did you get it in front of publishers?

I’ve never attempted to contact a publisher or an agent. I researched self-publishing and quickly came to the conclusion that giving Amazon exclusive rights to the e-book was the way to go. Royalties are 70% for books priced £1.99 / $2.99 or more and that is a great deal. Plus you get paid when people borrow the book via Kindle Unlimited if you sign up for the KDP Select programme. For every two books I sell, I get one borrow, which really boosts my readership.

I was approached by a small publisher after I published, but they were a new start-up and the ‘Books’ section on their website was a blank page – so I didn’t waste any time with them. It would take a serious offer for me to give up my indie status – I am in control of editing, marketing and publicity. It’s like the difference between running your own business or going to work for someone else.

I sold the audiobook rights to my first three books to Tantor Media. But I didn’t go to them. They came to me…which was a pleasant surprise!

Did you have an agent?

No. Self-publishers are their own agents.

What was the first reaction of people?

My army of test readers really enjoyed the novel, so that was encouraging. And my editor also loved it, which I think is important (or, at least, that’s what she told me!).

Prior to publication, I grew a small Twitter fan base via various comedy Twitter accounts and they bought the novel and all enjoyed it, as did my British friends and family. As a result, the first tranche of reviews were all fantastic. It was only when I advertised very widely did any negative reviews start to come in – but that’s not surprising, as they are all from US readers and my distinctly British sense of humour isn’t going to always travel well across the Atlantic.

Did the publishers want to change a lot? All? Nothing? & Did you agree? Or stick to your guns?

In my case, I had test readers and an editor. I tested the first novel after 14 chapters and the response was positive, so I didn’t really change much, apart from adding some more futuristic elements. My editor helped me improve the ending. She makes lots of suggestions but is always clear that it’s my decision whether to accept them (unless they are grammatical, in which case I do!).

How long did it take from them to get it out to the public?

I think it was test read in the May, edited in June and then tweaked by me in July (with a final editor check). It was such a hectic time, the memories are all a bit blurred!

What input did you have on the cover? Font? Etc. …

I commission my own cover designer. His name is Alex Storer. He mainly does science fiction, but he has produced some great covers for my comedy-thriller novels.

At the start of the process, I have a fairly good idea of the cover and give him a brief with some suggestions as to what bits and bobs might be included. He always gets it spot on, and then I just tweak it until we have a final version.

If you could do it all again, what would you change?

I would get up to speed more with the various marketing options. I decided to rely solely on social media at the start. But that resulted in far fewer sales than I imagined. I only sold 120 copies in the first two months and thought it was going to take years to make any impression. After all, there are only so many times you can tell people you’ve written a book before you start to sound like a broken record! Then I discovered Amazon US ads and, after a lot of tweaking, they now work very well for me. I’ve sold over 10,000 books already, which I still find hard to comprehend!

I would also allow myself a little more time for last-minute tweaks. You need a break between proofreads, so your brain can refresh and forget the specifics of what you’ve written. Otherwise, it suffers novel overload!

About Paul Mathews

Paul Mathews - Author Image

Paul Mathews is a 40-something British guy who’s given up his 9-to-5 job in London to become a full-time comedy novelist. Why did he make this bold step? Well, he’d had enough of crazy managers and uncooperative printers. So one afternoon, after nearly 20 years working at the heart of the British Government, he shut down his computer, deleted all his emails and escaped the office – never to return. (Okay, it wasn’t quite as dramatic as that, but he is a fiction writer, so please cut him a little slack.)

His two decades working as a Government press officer gave him an invaluable insight into all the key elements of modern government: bureaucracy, bungling, buffoonery, buck-passing and other things that don’t begin with the letter ‘b’ – such as politicians with huge egos and very little talent. He’s now putting that knowledge to use by writing about a British Government of the future – where, believe it or not, the politicians are even bigger idiots than the current lot.

Before becoming a PR guy, he was an accountant. But he doesn’t like to talk about that. And going back further, he went to Cambridge University and studied philosophy. Despite thousands of hours of thoughtful contemplation, he still hasn’t worked out how that happened. The highlight of his university years was receiving a £300 travel grant to visit Prague and ‘study philosophy’. It was a trip which ignited his love of Eastern Europe where he spends a lot of time writing and drinking black beer.

Other interests include wearing sunglasses and having his photograph taken. Visit his website for more info on this (allegedly) humorous man: http://www.iamthe.website (less)

Giveaway

Giveaway ButtonOne of two ebooks of We Have Lost The Coffee.

(Tour-Wide Giveaway)

Book & Buy Links

TitleWe Have Lost The Coffee
SeriesWe Have Lost #3
Author: Paul Mathews
Genre: Science Fiction | Comedy
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 28 June 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: N/A
Pages: 325
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US

#BookBlitz: Down and Dirty by Annette Fields @XpressoTours #Q&A #Excerpt #Giveaway

I am pleased to be a part of this book blitz organised by Xpresso Book Tours. Check out more about this book below along with an excerpt and Q&A. If you want to catch up on the series you can do that by following these links…

Description

Women come and go from my bed but they’ll never have my heart.
There’s only one girl I’m committed to and that’s my six-year-old daughter.
Every dirty deal I make is to secure a good future for her.
When I find Natalie in the back of my truck ready to die fighting, everything gets flipped upside down.
I saved her life and took her home. Her stay was supposed to be temporary but I don’t want her to leave.
I want to feel her soft, sweet body writhing underneath me, begging for more and never stopping.
But what’s really got my head spinning?
My daughter wants a mother.

I escaped Hell only to run right into the arms of another demon.
But Solomon says he won’t hurt me, not in that way.
He’ll keep them from finding me, but can I trust him?
He’s just another criminal working with the one who captured me.
I feel ruined from what I’ve been through but somehow, he makes my body come alive again.
He reminds me what pleasure feels like and I can’t get enough.
I’m beyond torn in multiple directions but that’s not the most confusing part.
How can a tattooed, muscle-bound criminal also be such a caring, devoted father?

Down and Dirty is a full-length standalone bad boy romance in my Small Town Bad Boy series. Absolutely no cliffhangers and guaranteed HEA!

Down & Dirty - Blitz Banner

Excerpt

I crept in quietly through the front door. Most of the lights were off except for a reading lamp next to the couch. Peering over the cushions, I saw a sight that made my cold, calloused heart absolutely melt.

 

Ari was asleep with a picture book in her lap with Natalie cuddled up next to her, also asleep.

 

They were both under a blanket and laid stretched out on the couch. I couldn’t help but smile at seeing my little girl sleeping peacefully. She never dozed off out here. She loved her princess bed too much.

 

And Natalie.

 

She looked absolutely beautiful and angelic. Her face was also relaxed and peaceful, the complete opposite of the expression she wore this morning.

 

And still my cock grew hard, pressing against my zipper as if reaching for her.

 

Careful not to disturb them, I sat on the couch just behind where Ari’s feet stretched out. Natalie’s arm draped across Ari’s shoulders protectively and a strand of dark blonde hair fell across her face. Without thinking, I brushed that piece of hair back behind her ear and my fingers had no desire to leave her skin.

 

Her skin was so incredibly soft. The curving lines of her jaw and neck so feminine and elegant.

 

I found myself leaning down closer, brushing more silky strands of hair away from her gorgeous face. She smelled like strawberries.

 

My cock throbbed eagerly from being so intimately close to her, so close that I could inhale her scent and see the adorable freckle just under her ear. Maybe it was my alcohol and lust-fueled brain urging me on, I don’t know why, but I just had to kiss it.

 

When my lips touched the skin of her neck, it was like they caught fire from her body heat which quickly spread throughout all of my limbs.

 

I couldn’t stop at just one little kiss. I was under a spell and I needed more.

Q&A

1.      When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Somewhere around 8-10 years old. My dad was always writing, be it journaling or poetry, so I picked it up early in wanting to be just like him. I also read a lot as a kid and had teachers that encouraged creative writing at that age.

2.      What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I can’t sit in one place in a writing session. At some point I always have to move from my desk to the kitchen table, or to the floor, or to the library or coffee shop. I’ve given up trying to fight this and found that I write more and better if I switch up my space a little.

3.      Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Google is amazing tool, haha! I use the internet for nitty gritty details but a lot of my ideas are based on what I have actually experienced, either firsthand or through people I know. For example my character Liam is inspired by people close to me who have worked in law enforcement.

Also at one point I worked in a brewery like my character Aubrey in Big Bad Boss. She’s loosely based on a couple of awesome female coworkers I had at that time.

4.      When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I was around 14 when I made my first attempt a novel. I was really into vampires and witches at the time (pre-Twilight days!) and wrote a story that would probably be considered YA urban fantasy. That one’s never been published though! I’m not sure if it still exists…

5.      What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I do yoga, read books whenever I have the chance, and play boardgames with friends. I love gardening and may have an obsession with plants (there’s definitely a little of me in my character Dahlia from this series!)

6.      What do you think makes a good story?

Complex and flawed characters. The ones that make you want to cry, cheer, and scream “Noooo, what are you doing!”

About Annette Fields

Annette Fields - Author Image

Get Her Soldier, a military bad boy novella for FREE when you sign up for emails at: http://www.subscribepage.com/ hersoldier

Annette Fields is a soft-spoken California girl with a big and filthy imagination. She’s always daydreaming about her next hot bad boy story to share with you, her readers!

Aside from writing fiery hot romance and lounging in the equally hot California sun, Annette loves coffee, gin, and her bad boy husband.

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Giveaway

  • Giveaway Button$10 Amazon Gift Card

Blitz-Wide International Giveaway

Book & Buy Links

TitleDown and Dirty
Series: Small Town Bad Boys #3
Author: Annette Fields
Genre: Adult | Contemporary | Romance
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 1 June 2017
Review Format: N/A
Other Formats: eBook
Pages: 189
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US

#BookBlitz: Seasons Within by Lele Iturrioz feat. #Q&A @LeleIturrioz @XpressoTours

I am pleased to be a part of this book blitz organised by Xpresso Book Tours. I have a Q&A with the lovely Lele Iturrioz on the blog today and in February I will be reviewing the book as part of the blog tour which I’m very much looking forward to.

Description:
Most teenage girls know their name, where they came from, who they are. Not G, a beautiful redhead with unusual markings on her wrist. She gets her name from a silver locket she keeps around her neck, unaware the engraved letter “G” on its front holds the secret to her past.

Continue reading #BookBlitz: Seasons Within by Lele Iturrioz feat. #Q&A @LeleIturrioz @XpressoTours

#BookBlitz: The Elf by Max Dune feat. #Q&A & #Giveaway @authormaxdune @XpressoTours

Welcome to this book blitz organised by Xpresso Book Tours. Today I have a festive fantasy fairy tale for you from author Max Dune, try saying that after a few mulled wines! I have a character Q&A with Zeb the star of The Elf on the blog today as well as an international giveaway so check out the goodies and I’ll see you at the end of the post!

Description:
This Christmas…it’s war.  Grab your weapon and join the fight in this modern Santa Claus retelling with a dark twist. Fans of Guardians of the Galaxy and Avatar will be riveted by The Elf‘s action, humor and romance!

Elves are dying in the North Pole, and none of their scientists can find a cure. They believe it’s a virus, unleashed by a powerful enemy. All signs point to Jack Frost, who’s been biding his time from afar. Watching. Waiting. Plotting. One brave elf, to save his kind, will venture out to meet evil in the eye. But he uncovers a mystery more dangerous than he could have ever imagined. Now Lucian must join a group of warriors and fight. Fuego; a flame-wielding pyro. Tiktok; a brilliant bomb expert, Yuriko; a deadly ninja assassin. And Bullets; a hot-headed gun aficionado. These unlikely heroes must learn to work together and defeat the rising evil. Or Christmas will soon be lost…forever.

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Character Q&A:

Welcome, Zeb!
Thanks for having me. (Glances at cookies on table) Are those free?

Of course. Help yourself.
Just a nibble. (Grabs a handful and shoves an entire cookie into his mouth) It’s for my anxiety.

No worries. You’ve been through a lot recently, haven’t you?
So you’ve heard about my choir rejection? (inhales sharply) I’m still bitter about that. Very bitter. Our director is a moron. I can only assume that he is intimidated by my raw vocal powers. Either that or he doesn’t want me to outshine the rest of the choir. Which is understandable.

I was referring to the virus that’s killing elves in Santa’s Village.
I mean, that’s been difficult too.

Any idea who’s behind the virus?
We suspect it’s Jack Frost.

Why is that?
Well, he sort of bombed our village recently.

Wow. Safe to say it’s him then.
Yep.

 On the bright side, you have lots of guards protecting Santa’s Village.
You seen those Russians?

I did.
They’re pretty scary, huh?

 (Nods and chuckles nervously)
Santa hired those thugs. Ugh. It’s like watching The Godfather but with Russian dubbing. Us worker elves stay away from them. They’re not exactly social. But I guess that’s the kind of security we need to deal with a psychopath like Jack Frost.

How long have you worked here?
A couple of years. I couldn’t afford college and I didn’t get any scholarships so I applied for work here. Had I known what would happen…I might have stuck to flipping burgers. No elf-killing viruses at McDonald’s. And their chicken nuggets are dope.

And how’s your roommate doing? I understand he couldn’t make it today.
Yes, he sends his apologies. Lucian’s just been through a lot. Way more than me. He lost both his parents three months ago.

Oh my goodness. I’m so sorry to hear that. Was it due to the virus?
That’s right. All because of Jack Frost. But he’s not going to get away with this. We’re going to catch him, and when we do, he’s going to pay.

Let’s hope that day arrives soon. Well, thank you for spending time with us today, Zeb. Is there anything else you’d like to say before we end this interview?
Just one thing. Follow me on Twitter. @Zebdropsitlikeitshot

max-dune-author-imageAbout Max Dune:
Max Dune is a Southern writer who spent most his childhood watching TV, devouring comic books and weaving magical worlds in his head. In his mid-twenties, he decided to follow his true passion. He has since created a number of short stories, novels, screenplays and TV pilots. To be alerted to future books and giveaways, please sign up for his newsletter at http://eepurl.com/b5Is91

Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

bookblitzgiveawaybannerblueGiveaway:
Head to Rafflecopter for the chance to win:

  • $150 Amazon gift card
  • 15 YA paperbacks (see image)

This is an international blitz-wide giveaway.

TitleThe Elf
Series: N/A
Author: Max Dune
Genre: Fantasy | Young Adult | Fairy Tales | Christmas
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 18 October 2016
Review Format: N/A
Other Formats: eBook | Paperback
Pages: 293
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Kobo | iBooks